Mon-Thu, 11am-3pm and 5pm-11:30pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-3pm and 5pm-midnight; Sun, 1pm-11:30pm
6 at 96th St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
74th St. to 104th St., East End Ave. to Fifth Ave.
Hokkaido features an almost cavelike design of rough stone anchored by a curved rear bar, unusual for a sushi joint, and a far cry from the Latin eateries that dot the local blocks. For starters, tako su, a tangy arrangement of octopus and cucumber dressed with a light vinegar sauce beats generic miso soup. The assertive tuna tataki, thin slices of raw fish in a thick, citrus-y ponzu sauce, is an ideal lead-in to the hot, salty pleasure of unagi don, a satisfying rice bowl topped with slabs of glazed eel, or the nabeyaki udon, a noodle bowl of chicken and shrimp in steaming broth crowned with a lightly poached egg. Across the sushi menu, presentation is epic; Manhattan rolls of shrimp tempura, spicy tuna, and scallion are cut and elaborately plated to look like the city skyline, and colorful dragon rolls undulate across the plate. Still, the kitchen puts its best fish forward on more basic sushi options; smart diners stick with a sushi or sashimi platter and let the chef decide.Recommended Dishes
Tako su, $7.95; tuna tataki, $10.95; nabeyaki udon, $9.95; unagi don, $13.95